Rumors, reports and reality two days from the draft

Before the deconstructing of players and picks began, the Milwaukee Bucks didn’t seem all that interested in many prospects in the 2011 NBA Draft.

Then through some connecting of the dots, needs meeting wants and necessity meeting opportunity, Alec Burks emerged as the favorite to land in Milwaukee with the tenth pick.

And now things are back upside down. Rumors have run rampant all week that the Bucks have been one of the most active teams in the league with regards to trying to move down in the draft. Chad Ford has connected them with Burks, Klay Thompson, Bismack Biyombo, Jonas Valanciunas and Tristan Thompson at various times, while Draft Express has had Milwaukee connected with Marcus Morris for about two weeks.

Things seem up in the air.

The most logical explanation? A lack of separation. Burks, K. Thompson, Jordan Hamilton, and Tyler Honeycutt have all worked out for the Bucks as wing prospects. Tuesday, Milwaukee brought in Marshon Brooks and Chris Singleton. They’ve now worked out six legitimate prospects for their first round selection and don’t seem to have their hearts and minds set on any one of them.

Yes, Alec Burks appears to have the lead, but by this time last year, Larry Sanders could have shut things down — he had the Bucks assurance by the time dessert came around when the team took him out to dinner the night of his workout. Burks got the dinner, but not the promise. As workouts have gone on, Milwaukee has seemed more and more inclined to part with its pick, a sure sign that the team feels it can move down and get a player that has as much of a chance to be a success as the player they would be drafting at number ten.

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A few quick notes:

  • DX seems fairly certain that if the Bucks don’t move their pick, they’ll look for some inside help. He has them going with Marcus Morris at ten. I’m inclined to think wing still, but a report has surfaced that Ersan Ilyasova may look to buy his way out of his current deal with the Bucks. Ilyasova was caught in a bit of a time crunch last season with Luc Mbah a Moute and Drew Gooden taking away minutes at the four and his three-point shooting game fell off the map. He seemed to lose confidence and the trust of the coaching staff at times.
  • DX also hints that the Bucks may be interested in Valanciunas and that if he isn’t available, Milwaukee will trade down, likely to select one of the many wing options available. The Rockets could be a willing partnet according to his Tweet.
  • Chad Ford has the Bucks taking Klay Thompson in his Mock Draft 6.0. It seems Ford is basing this more on his interpertation of who would be more ready to play right away rather than on any concrete information from the Bucks that the like Thompson over Burks.  It should also be noted that in today’s BS Report with Bill Simmons, Ford said he didn’t think Andrew Bogut was available and that Milwaukee is a realistic landing spot for Valanciunas because John Hammond is safe enough to live without him for a season.

Meanwhile, the Bucks brought in another group for workouts today led by the aforementioned Brooks and Singleton.

  • Marshon Brooks – Guard/Forward – Providence
  • Chris Singleton – Forward – Florida State
  • Chandler Parsons – Forward – Florida
  • Tobias Harris – Forward – Tennessee
  • Jon Leuer - Forwad – Wisconsin
  • Josh Selby – Guard – Kansas

–  Leuer, a 6-foot-10 Wisconsin fan favorite, is Ford’s projected second round pick for the Bucks. Incredibly interesting about Leuer is his progression as a free throw shooter over his four years in Madison. Leuer made just 48% of his free throws as a freshman, but ranked third in the Big Ten last season after hitting 84% from the stripe. He’s a strong rebounder as well and tested out better as an athlete than many expected in late Mat at the combine. If Ilyasova were ready to leave, it’s not crazy to think Leuer could fit in as a 15th man type third or fourth power forward.

–  Selby is a combo guard who struggled in his one season at Kansas, but was a very well thought of recruit coming in. He battled some injuries and some playing time issues and surprised many by decalring. But the talent appears to be there. He’s seen as a mid-to-late first round pick.

Categories: Draft Talk

Jeremy Schmidt writes the Milwaukee Bucks blog Bucksketball. He founded it in…

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